Combination antimicrobial therapy in the treatment of acute pelvic inflammatory disease

D. V. Landers, P. Wolner-Hanssen, J. Paavonen, E. Thorpe, N. Kiviat, M. Ohm-Smith, J. R. Green, J. Schachter, K. K. Holmes, D. A. Eschenbach, Richard L Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We compared the clinical and microbiologic efficacy of two broad-spectrum combination antimicrobial regimens in the treatment of 148 patients with acute pelvic inflammatory disease. Patients were randomized to inpatient treatment with either cefoxitin and doxycycline (n = 75) or clindamycin and tobramycin (n = 73). These antibiotics were administered intravenously for at least 4 days, and up to 48 hours beyond defervescence. Patients were discharged on a regimen of oral doxycycline or clindamycin in accordance with the intravenous regimen to complete a total duration of therapy of 2 weeks. Neisseria gonorrhoeae (58%) and Chlamydia trachomatis (31%) were the microorganisms that were isolated most frequently from the genital tract of enrolled patients. At follow-up, N. gonorrhoeae was isolated in two patients, and C. trachomatis was isolated in none. The overall initial favorable response rate to combination antimicrobial therapy was 98.5% (130/132) in patients with uncomplicated pelvic inflammatory disease and 81% (13/16) in patients with pelvic inflammatory disease that was complicated by tuboovarian abscess. A > 70% decrease in abdominal tenderness score occurred in 89% of 111 patients within 6 weeks of hospital discharge. There were no significant differences between antibiotic treatment groups in any response categories or in toxicity. During the initial hospitalization, five patients (three with tuboovarian abscess, one with a pyosalpinx, and one with intractable acute and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease) required surgical intervention. These results support the recommendation to use broad-spectrum combination antimicrobial therapy for the treatment of acute pelvic inflammatory disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-858
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • acute salpingitis
  • pelvic infections
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • sexually transmitted diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Combination antimicrobial therapy in the treatment of acute pelvic inflammatory disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this